I have been searching for a bulletproof, simple, and efficient backup solution for my PC for about two years now. I have tried several different tools, online versions, software versions, and nothing really worked for me. Maybe I was too picky. More like too lazy, really.
First off, my requirements:
I have read repeatedly about the 3-2-1 policy of backups. Backblaze has a good explanation of it. 3 copies, 2 onsite in different devices, 1 offsite for security.
I believe this is a minimum backup requirement, and everything I do is to attain it. However, attaining it is a pain in the rear, which is why so few people really do it, I believe. It has taken me about two years before I found something really simple and easy that allows me to reach this goal.
I have two networked hard drives on my desk. One is a 4 terabyte drive, and the other is an older 500 GB drive. The 4 TB is the main drive, and the older one is a redundant backup.
I also have a 128 GB micro SD card in my Surface Pro. Finally, I have two 80 GB iPod Classics.
I require the software to be single purchase, and less than $30.00. That is the limit I placed on the purchasing. I do not want to pay monthly for backups, because I believe it will be a continuous expense over the PhD process and beyond. I also use Dropbox, (and have 76 GB of free storage on it) so I do not need a cloud service backup.
After using CrashPlan, and about 10 other softwares for a couple of months at a time, I have finally found a backup solution that works for my lazy self.
I purchased BVCKUP 2. Cost for home use is $19.95. Here is why I purchased it.
It’s backups are not encrypted, just simply backed up. The software is TINY! I mean really small. It sits in the system tray, monitoring the computer, and does incremental (delta) backups on my schedule. Currently I have it backing up every 2 hours to the 4 TB drive.
It saves deleted files in a “deleted files” folder. This way, when a file is deleted, it removes it from the folder on the backup, but does not delete it.
Once a week (currently Saturday mornings) it backs up from the 4 TB drive to the 500GB drive.
Finally, the 128 GB micro SD card in the computer has second by second backups. The reason I am not relying on it at all, is that this chip is with my computer. It is encrypted, with my computer. If my Surface is stolen, the chip and the computer are useless because my password is brutal. If my computer breaks, I have it as a backup. However, the category of “stolen” negates this as a reliable backup system.
Last but not least, I have the two 80 GB iPods. These work fabulously as external hard drives. I reformatted them, and use them as backups. I backup to them and take it to work with me. One is always at work, one is in my bag. I swap them out at work.
Finally, I do nothing once this is set up. BVCKUP monitors the computer looking for the drives and the time. Bvckup recognizes when one of the iPods is plugged in and does the backup then and there. It is fast and small enough that there is virtually no hit to using the computer. I don’t notice it at all.
All I have to do is plug in the iPod, and Bvckup does its thing.
I turn on the 500 GB hard drive once a week. Bvckup recognizes it is on, and backups the 4 TB drive immediately.
I spent 15 minutes setting up the program, and now I do nothing but plug the drives in. I have complete peace of mind for all of my PhD files, my teaching files, my program’s files, the grants I am writing, the articles I am writing, etc.
I can break my computer over my knee, it could be stolen tomorrow, and I can have 100% of my files replaced on a new computer in less than an hour after getting home.
This is pretty powerful, and I thought that peace of mind is worth writing about. After two years of working on coursework for the PhD and knowing all along that I could lose everything if I wasn’t careful, I no longer have to worry.
Try it. I think you will like it too. It is completely free for two weeks, no strings attached. That is what sold me, to be honest. After two weeks with dead simple backups, I realized that one little worry was taken off my shoulders.
That is worth $19.95.